Compare business credit cards for startups |
business credit cards for startups

Compare business credit cards for startups

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Many business credit cards offer helpful benefits for startups.

Running a startup is never easy. You’re juggling multiple priorities at any given moment — including, of course, your company’s finances.

A business credit card can be your best friend for covering last minutes expenses. There are lots of choices catering to startups, so compare the annual fees, benefits and rewards to find the best card for your startup.

Our pick for startups

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Special offer: save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; after that your APR will be a variable rate, currently 14.49% - 21.49%
  • No annual fee
  • Reinvest in your business with automatic cash back in the form of a monthly statement credit. Plus take control by choosing the 3% category that best fits your business
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent at wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • Earn 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases
  • With Expanded Buying Power you can spend beyond your credit limit* to make bigger purchases for your business plus earn cash back on those purchases too
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors
  • Terms apply
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Compare business cards for startups

Updated June 25th, 2019
Name Product Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
0% intro for the first 20 billing cycles (then 12.24% to 20.24% variable)
Enjoy a market-leading 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles, reverting to a variable 12.24% to 20.24% APR. Rates & Fees
5% back at US office supply stores and on US wireless telephone services on up to $50,000 annually (then 1%). 3% on a chosen category on up to $50,000 annually, then 1% after and on everything else
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.49% to 21.49% variable)
Save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After that your APR will be variable. Rates & fees
2x points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 annually, then 1x points
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 15.49% to 21.49% variable)
Earn 2x Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 with no category restrictions. Rates & fees
12x points at Hilton, 6x points on select business and travel and 3x points on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 17.99% to 26.99% variable)
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you make $4,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months. Plus earn $50 after you make your first Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees

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Best business credit cards for startups

There are many business cards on the market, but it’s likely only a few offer benefits that meet your specific needs. Here are a few of our top picks.

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Best for travel: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

This is one of your best choices if you travel often. You’ll earn accelerated points on travel and other business categories. And when you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth 25% more.

Best for intro APR: The Blue Business‎℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

If you need to take on interest-free debt for longer than a month, you’ll want a card with a strong intro APR. The Blue Business‎℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is one of your top options, offering a long zero-interest promotion (see rates & fees) compared to similar business cards.

Best for average credit: Spark® Classic for Business

When you’re bootstrapping your startup, you might not have the best credit, from running up high balances or taking out loans. When other cards might be out of reach, the Spark® Classic for Business may be a viable option.

Best for limiting debt: American Express® Business Gold Card

If you’re worried about running up high balances on your card, you can keep yourself in check with the American Express® Business Gold Card. That’s because it’s a charge card, meaning you must pay off your balance each month unless you opt to use the Pay Over Time feature. Luckily, it’s also a strong rewards card, which can balance the steep annual fee (see rates & fees).

Best for flat cash back: Spark® Cash from Capital One®

If your expenses spread through many categories, like office supplies, travel and shipping costs, a flat-rate rewards card like the Spark® Cash from Capital One® might help. It offers unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, try the Spark® Cash Select from Capital One®. And if you want flat travel rewards, try the Spark® Miles from Capital One® or Spark® Miles Select from Capital One®.

How we selected our top cards

We measured a few different factors when comparing available credit cards for startup businesses, including credit score requirements, introductory APRs, reward programs, points or cash back earned per dollar, reward earning categories signup bonuses and other added perks particularly beneficial to startups. The cards we highlighted demonstrated exemplary performance in one or more of these categories.

What’s changed in 2019

Our list stood unchanged this year, with each card maintaining strong performance and remaining one of the top picks in their respective categories. While the The Blue Business‎℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express no longer has the longest intro APR available, it still remains a terrific choice and maintained its position on our list.

How to compare business credit cards for startups

  • Annual fee. When cash is tight, you might not want the expense of an annual fee. There are solid no-annual-fee business cards, though you’ll earn more powerful rewards with cards you have to pay for.
  • Signup bonus. If you anticipate heavy purchases in the next few months, you could breeze past the spending requirement for a card’s signup bonus. Business credit cards often have more impressive bonuses than personal cards.
  • Intro APR. This could be the answer if you’ll rack up debt soon but need several months to pay it off. Intro APRs for business cards tend to top off at around 15 months.
  • Rewards. A card with strong rewards can pay for itself. If your card has tiered rewards, check that your startup has significant expenses in the right categories. If your expenses are spread evenly throughout many categories, you might get more out of a flat-rewards card.

Bottom line

Your startup faces unique challenges, which some cards can address more effectively than others. Compare options that give your rewards, balance transfers and an annual fee you can afford.

If you’d like to compare more products, visit our guide on business credit cards.

Frequently asked questions


Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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